Vote on WTO deal to end customs duties on high-tech devices
A WTO deal struck by the EU deal and 24 countries including Japan, China, and the USA, to stop charging custom duties on trade in 201 high-demand information technology products such as video game consoles medical imaging machines and touch screens, will be debated on Tuesday and put to a vote on Wednesday. The EU has signed the deal, but needs Parliament’s consent to ratify it.
The deal – an update of theInformation Technology Agreement (ITA) – has been signed by 25 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), with the EU counting as one. Australia, Canada, China, Japan, the USA, and South Korea are on board.
It would gradually eliminate customs duties for 201 listed information technology products, such as videogame consoles, GPS navigation systems, magnetic resonance imaging machines, TV screens, telecommunications satellites and touch screens. Tariffs are to be reduced from 1 July 2016, and eliminated by 1 July 2019.
Note to editors
The EU is among world’s leading producers of technology products such as gaming and medical devices. The value of the EU exports of products covered by the ITA is currently €189 billion. The EU Commission estimates the likely gain to EU exporters at €5 - 8.3 billion..
Debate: Tuesday, 7 June
Vote: Wednesday, 8 June